Five Top Ten Finishes in a Row for Ross Grothe
Jul 8th, 2012 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jul 8th, 2012 at 12:01 PM
While many people out there might claim there is a certain amount of luck involved in successful fishing, especially tournament angling – numbers seldom lie. Yamaha pro, Ross Grothe will tell you he feels there is certainly an element of luck involved, most would still agree that to be a successful tournament angler, you have to know when and where to be to take advantage of the “right place at the right time” mentality.
The AIM Pro Walleye Series is relatively new to the professional walleye angling scene, but it’s getting a lot of attention due to its unique format. Catch, Record, Release (CRR) allows the AIM series to hold tournaments any body of water, regardless of slots, culling or any other fish handling regulations because every fish is release immediately following a measurement and photo. It’s purely catch and release, which is always a good thing!
“Right away I knew this series was going to be a good thing for the sport of walleye fishing,” says Grothe, a co-founder of Wild 4 Outdoors. “I chose to get involved and I am thankful I have had the opportunity to fish against some of walleye fishing’s finest anglers. AIM has been a positive learning experience and I expect there to be long lasting positive benefits to the sport because this series exists.”
“I have been blessed with a bit of a hot streak lately,” laughs Grothe. “It started at last year’s first event on the Lake Winnebago System out of Winneconne, Wisconsin. It was an event I won’t ever forget! It was early April and of course that meant cold front conditions accompanied by seven inches of snow. The conditions were certainly difficult, but I committed to weighing a limit of fish in order to be competitive. I finished 3rd in that event, but I was the only angler who managed to weigh a limit each day.”
“From Winneconne we were up at Bay Mills,” he continues. “This was an artificial only tournament, meaning no live bait. Again, the bite was tough and I felt that a limit of fish each day was going to be essential. I buckled down and focused really hard on finding a limit and managed to finish in 5th place. Again, I was the only angler to weigh a full limit of fish each day.”
“The next event took place on the Mississippi River out of Dubuque, Iowa which is one of my favorite places to fish,” Grothe explains. “Again, we were hit with a cold front and the water came up about a foot, which really messed up the pattern I was on. I opted to go to the community hole hoping for a couple big fish bites each day and I was fortunate enough to get them. I stuck to my program an ended up finishing 7th place, which put me high in the standings for Angler Of the Year (AOY).”
“The final event of the year was out of Akaska, South Dakota on Lake Oahe,” he continues. “This was also the AIM Championship and taking home that title was well within my reach. A limit of fish was not only going to be essential, but they had to be good fish. Brett King was leading the AOY race having won the Bay Mills event, but I was on his tail the whole time knowing that it would come down to Oahe. I weighed a good limit of fish every day, which allowed me to finish in 5th place in the tournament. King ended up 9th and managed to win the AOY title, but I was really close and a 5th place finish is something to be proud of!”
“Then the first AIM event of 2012 was again at Bay Mills,” he explains. “I had a tough first day, which greatly limited me to where I could fish, and the weather played a major role in my decision making. The entire situation forced me to fish the same bay I fished the year before, which was actually an advantage. I kept my chin down and focused, which won me a 9th place finish. I was really pleased with my finish considering the hurdles I had to overcome, but it was also humbling at the same time.”
Grothe will tell you that focus, even in the midst of unfortunate circumstances, can and will produce quality results. The pressure that comes in association with the AOY race can often distract an angler from focusing on what is in front of them. However, Grothe looks for the good in each situation and plays the cards he’s been dealt to the best of his ability, which has paid off big.
“Winning a major tournament is an amazing feeling,” Grothe explains. “However, if you ask any pro angler which they would choose, an AOY title or a tournament trophy, I bet most would pick the AOY. It clearly indicates the consistency and versatility of one particular fisherman across a variety of different waters. Winning is not everything to everyone, but to some of us it is a huge part of who we are. Everyone’s definition of what winning is will vary greatly; I can say I am very proud of my five top ten finishes in a row.”
And now with the momentum currently on his side, Grothe is hotter than the summer of 2012! Ross teams with walleye pros Tommy Skarlis and Jimmy Bell as they share their passions and experiences in the great outdoors as a group and individually. Please follow along with the whole crew at www.wild4outdoors.com as their competitive walleye season and other outdoor passions unfold.